THE UNITED KINGDOM (UK), or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireand to give it its full title, comprises England, Scotland, and Wales which is the Great Britain bit, and Northern Ireland which is the Northern Ireland bit.

UK WINEGROWING is essentially confined to England and Wales which are in the throes of a wine-growing boom (see below). Investors both local and foreign (eg. deep-pocketed Champagne houses) have been piling in, tempted by tax incentives for land that is being farmed, and a belief that ‘global warming’ will make wine-growing more commercially viable in the UK’s cool, damp, blustery climes. However climate change may in fact cause the UK to become cooler and wetter due to more variable North Atlantic atmospheric circulation which affects the North Atlantic jet stream.

UK WINE REGIONS

England. / Wales.

UK VINEYARD AREA & WINE PRODUCTION

2017 The UK vineyard area doubled between 2009 and 2017 to approximately 2,330 hectares (5,755 acres) under vine (Data from English Wine Producers, reprinted in Decanter, August 2017, p56) In 2017 around one million new vines were due to be planted in England and Wales, the biggest number ever, meaning the UK vineyard area would expand by 18% to around 2,650 hectares (6,545 acres) (Stephen Skelton MW, personal communication).

2016 Annual production of 4.15 million bottles of which approximately 2.74 million bottles of sparkling (Data from English Wine Producers, reprinted in Decanter, August 2017, p56).

2015 503 commercial vineyards, 133 wineries (Data from English Wine Producers, reprinted in Decanter, August 2017, p56). Annual production in 2015 of 5.06 million bottles of which approximately 3.34 million bottles of sparkling (Data from English Wine Producers, reprinted in Decanter, August 2017, p56).

2014 Annual production of 6.3 million bottles of which approximately 4.15 million bottles of sparkling (Data from English Wine Producers, reprinted in Decanter, August 2017, p56).

2013 Annual production of 4.45 million bottles of which approximately 2.94 million bottles of sparkling (Data from English Wine Producers, reprinted in Decanter, August 2017, p56).

2011 UK wine consultant Stephen Skelton MW suggests the UK had 180 vineyards of less than 1 hectare (2.47 acres). The vast majority (386) are fewer than 5 hectares (12.3 acres) in size, he says, with 37 between 5 and 10 hectares (12-25 acres), and only 18 bigger than this. The UK vineyard surface area is around 1,500 hectares (3,705 acres) in total with around 70% of production controlled by 17% of vineyards, Skelton adds (‘Growing pains’, The Drinks Business 105 (April 2011), p67 by Graham Holter). Champagne grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier) account for nearly half of the UK vineyard, says Julia Trustram Eve of the English Wine Producers, (‘Growing pains’, The Drinks Business 105 (April 2011), p67 by Graham Holter).

2009 In 2009 At least 100 hectares (247 acres) of vines were planted in England and Wales in 2009, bringing the total to around 1,350 hectares (3,334 acres) (Stephen Skelton MW, personal communication).

2008 1,106 hectares (2,731 acres) in production officially, with a total planted area estimated at nearer 1,250 hectares (3,087 acres) according to Stephen Skelton MW, the difference between the two figures being newly planted vines not yet in full production.

SEE ALSO

Demographics. / Hedgerows. / Land prices. / Monarchy. / UK wine consumption